PPI Update

There are miles of U.S. Highway 71 that have gravel shoulders.

I’ve been busy the past few weeks getting ready for Pedal for Project Impact.

While on a scouting trip Friday morning, I rediscovered how little attention I pay to details sometimes. While laying out the route for the weeklong fundraising ride my friend, Bob Hines, and I will begin June 3, I figured we could just pedal up U.S. Highway 71 to Long Prairie and onto Park Rapids.

There are a lot of rules on the sign at the Soo Line ATV Trail head near Little Falls.

On my drive Friday, I discovered there’s no paved shoulder on that road from just north of Sibley State Park to Belgrade. And that’s a busy highway with lots of semis using it.

On the positive side, I was able to verify that the Soo Line ATV Trail is paved from U.S. Highway 10 south of Little Falls to the Lake Wobegon Trail southwest of Bowlus. That bit of information will make that stage of our return route easier and safer.

I also had a bike fitting – a new experience – for the bike I’ll be riding for the Project Impact ride.

It was similar in ways to being fitted for a suit with elements of medical exam and a chiropractic adjustment thrown in.

Although the sign at the trail head gives the impression that all vehicles other than ATVs and snowmobiles are forbidden, this sign a few yards up the trail entrance tells a different story.

Rick Norsten, of Rick’s Cycles in Willmar, did the fitting fresh from a class in the Twin Cities taught by an experienced bike fitter and a sports medicine doctor.

It took about two hours, although I’m sure the process will take less time as Rick more fittings.

He examined various joints to find the point from which to take measurements. That was the part that made it seem a bit medical or chiropractic to me.

By the way, if you want to join Bob and me for the first miles of the ride, just meet us at 7 a.m. June 3 at the Glacial Lakes State Trail head near the Willmar Civic Center. We’ll stay on the trail past New London.

So, if you want to ride a few miles with us, please do.

Rick Norsten measures my new bike.

And now, it’s time once again for the fundraising:

You can mail a donation to: Safe Avenues, PO Box 568, Willmar, MN 56201. Please write PPI on the memo line of your check.

Donations can also be done online at www.willmarshelter.com. Just click on the donate button at the top of the home page and follow the instructions.

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